Nate Noncent, a senior health sciences major at Quinnipiac, works on his smart walker, a responsive walker that senses obstacles and has an auto-braking system, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 in the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the School of Business on the university's Mount Carmel Campus.  (Autumn Driscoll / Quinnipiac University)

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship strives to support the determination and goals of students and entrepreneurs at Quinnipiac. It is the ideal creative space to dream up, research and turn great ideas into viable business solutions with the potential to go to market.

What We Do

Putting entrepreneurial spirit into practice

Businessman, philanthropist and Quinnipiac trustee Carlton Highsmith believes that the great equalizer in American society consists of equal parts education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Thanks to the support of Quinnipiac’s nationally recognized School of Business and our partnership with People’s United Bank, we are able to fully realize that vision.

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is a versatile and collaborative incubator for students, staff and faculty across Quinnipiac’s 8 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences to pursue their original entrepreneurial ventures. The center taps into the expertise and advanced research capabilities of experienced business professionals. It provides advisory services and workshops in legal, finance, research, marketing, design, business plan development and start-up mentoring, as well as access to business capital.

Our team consists of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni mentors and other friends of the university. Each of us shares both the entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to making the center the ideal space for tackling each phase in the lifecycle of an idea, from brainstorming to meeting potential investors.

Spring Speaker Series

2020 Spring Speaker Series

The annual Spring Speaker Series features corporate innovators, entrepreneurs, Quinnipiac alumni, public and private sector support organizations and experts who focus on financing entrepreneurial start-ups.

The series seeks to create a vibrant and entrepreneurial on-campus community, provide inspiration for Quinnipiac entrepreneurs (faculty, staff and students), and share information to assist budding innovators in attaining their goals.

Poster for spring speaker series

Event dates

Wednesdays, noon to 1 p.m.
Lender School of Business Center, SB-109
Mount Carmel Campus

Pizza will be served and all are welcome to attend.

February 4 – Susan Bysiewicz 
Lieutenant Governor, State of Connecticut

February 12 – Michael Reynolds 
Vice President of Ideation & Innovation Strategy, Stanley Black & Decker

February 19 – David Lehman 
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development

February 26 – Caroline Smith and Margaret Lee 
Founders, Collab

March 4* – Jeff Tengel 
President, People’s United Bank
*This event is at 3 p.m.

March 18 – Will Ginsberg 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

March 25 – Blair Decker 
Vice President, Supply Chain, Materials and Strategic Sourcing, General Dynamics/Electric Boat

April 1 – Garrett Sheehan 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce

Featured Event: Entrepreneurship Capital Summit
April 8, 10 a.m.

Rocky Top Student Center, RTSC-316
York Hill Campus


  • Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Opportunity Hub
  • Steve Grossman, President and CEO, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
  • Robert Greene, President and CEO, National Association of Investment Companies
  • Shawn Wooden, Connecticut State Treasurer
  • Anthony Price, Founder, LootScout

April 15 – George Llado 
Chief Information Officer, Alexion Pharmaceuticals

April 22 – Onyeka Obiocha 
Managing Director, Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, Yale University

April 29 – Mary Howard and Donna Lecky
Executive Director, ABCT and Co-Founder and Managing Director, iHaven and HealthVenture

Student Work

Nate Noncent works on upgrading a walker, starts video

Room to create

Fueled by concern over his mother’s illness, health sciences major Nate Noncent ‘17 led a team of students from multiple disciplines to create Next Step Walkers, an obstacle detecting, self-braking walker.

Past Events

Reception to celebrate re-opening of innovation center

On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, the university hosted a reception to celebrate the re-opening of the People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The event was hosted by Matthew O’Connor, Dean of the Quinnipiac School of Business, and Fred McKinney, Carlton Highsmith Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Special guests included Judy Olian, President of Quinnipiac University, Carlton Highsmith, Vice Chairman of the Quinnipiac Board of Trustees, and Jeff Tengel, President of People’s United Bank.

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Fred McKinney stands behind a podium with the Quinnipiac People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship logo.

Inspiring words

Fred McKinney, the Carlton Highsmith Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac University, speaks at the re-opening of The People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Lender School of Business Center

Contact Us

Fred McKinney
Carlton Highsmith Chair of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Director of the People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Hanna Hejmowski, Director of Operations
Central European Institute
People's United Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
People's United Center for Women & Business
Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum